Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Save Money on School Design?

Could we save money on school design by limiting the space the instructor has to teach? Does every classroom need a giant presentation space for teaching (blackboard/projector screen)? Seems like the students should be the focus of the design, not the instructor. Especially a giant lecture hall seems to be a total waste of space and we don't have any indication that a 300 person lecture is a better way of teaching than a 20 person classroom. All that wasted space...
Maybe instructors could teach from a 'teaching booth' with an interactive screen on the wall in the classroom. The booths could be banked up together, limiting the space available. This would also create a hierarchy of environment where the students would be the important part of the classroom, not the professors. This might work especially well in high schools where teacher security is a factor, maybe allowing very good teachers who would otherwise shy away from these schools because of the violence to be able to participate in the education of the students. Theoretically, if done properly, the teachers could work from home. This would also take away the babysitting factor of the teaching profession and you could have a disciplinarian check on multiple classes at a time. If your school was basically non-violent, this would be like a hall monitor position. If the school had a high rate of violence, you could bring in local law enforcement - I mean the local law enforcement would have to deal with these people at some point anyway.
School administration could be split up into two separate entities where the teachers would be administered/evaluated by one group and the discipline would be monitored/evaluated by another group. Possibly could begin some real discussions about whether or not the teachers aren't keeping the students attention (ineffective), causing the discipline problems. Or if the students are unwieldy and therefore are to distracted to be taught properly. I assume there would be components of both.

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